A bunch of points.
Imma respond to this point by point:
#1: None of us have expressed any outright hate
towards Sticker Star, at least I don't think. Personally I was more disappointed and terribly confused by it than anything else. And accusing the Paper Mario series of being repetitive when the third out of four games was already a massive change-up is pretty bull. Furthermore, our collective beef with Sticker Star has nothing to do with its battle system. Our beef is that everything except
the battle system is old and boring. You may as well have titled it "Paper New Super Mario Bros.". And that's not good, because Paper Mario 2 still has some of the most unique characters and environments the Mario series has ever seen. That's at least 1/3 of the reason people loved it so much. Everybody I've ever run into *****es at Sticker Star for using the same old bog-standard Mario tropes when the RPGs are pretty much renowned for being the sole source of new characters and locales. CrossEyed even made a whole thread about this!
#2 and #4:
Conceptually I didn't think Sticker Star's battle system was that bad. It actually kind of reminded me of Mega Man Battle Network. Unfortunately, just because it's new
doesn't mean it's totally functional
. More often than not you either have more stickers than you know what to do with, or you're running out of stickers because you ****ed them all away on a single battle. There's never a middle ground. And on top of that, there's practically no incentive to battling because all you get from it is coins which let you buy more stickers to refill the inventory you just wasted on that battle. It's a never-ending cycle that goes nowhere. At least MMBN gave ol' Megs a piddly weak buster gun to chip away at enemies if you had no battle chips on hand. This game gives you zlich. And it ends up forcing the dev team to give the player the option to run away
from boss battles. This is hella stupid: Why would a boss who is assigned to kill you dead allow
you to run away and stock up on inventory to fight him again? This is nonsensical even for Mario, man.
Secondly, of all the games you could've used to point out how much JRPG stats suck, Paper Mario and its sequel are probably the absolute worst example. This is because neither game is particularly stat-driven in the slightest. They're driven by customization
. You don't gain more attack and defense by grinding, you only gain more health and fuel. And you can choose
which of these to gain as you go on. Better weapons are handed to you by the plot. Everything else is determined entirely by which badges you put on. You can create hundreds of different possible combinations. You make a damage sponge Mario that's all HP and HP-increasing badges, you can make an elementalist Mario that's got tons of FP and all different types of special moves, you can make an untouchable Mario with high defense and abilities that keep enemies away. Mario is your oyster. Paper Mario's stat and battle system is beautiful
, and I was only looking forward to see what else they could do with it. Hell, I think they could've only improved this system by replacing level-based HP gains with heart containers like the ones in Sticker Star. Make the player work for his HP, [darnit].
Finally, there are two fairly major changes to Sticker Star's system that baffle
me to no end - A: For some reason you can't pick your target in battle, and B: All of the enemies' HP is combined into one big bar. I legitimately cannot
figure out why they thought these were good
ideas. I do not
understand what practical purpose these changes were supposed to serve. It's one thing if these were bugs, oversights, or some other sort of mistake, but this had to have a been a conscious decision on the part of the development team. Somebody
thought these were good
ideas. If there really is
a solid reason behind these two changes, I have absolutely no
idea what that reason is. Can anybody
help me out on this? Anybody at all?
#3: Paper Mario already
played like an adventure game, though not of the text or point-n-click variety. BP even once pointed out that if you removed the turn-based battles from Paper Mario (and Superstar Saga, for that matter), you'd essentially be left with "Mario as Zelda". One big difference in Sticker Star is that the game allows
you use up
the items you need to solve each puzzle. And if you do, you have to go all the way
back the place where you found the item, get another one, then pay that one Toad a bunch of coins to have it turned into a sticker again. Or just buy the item from that sketchy Toad for even more coins. That is some bull[dukar]. An actual
point-and-click Mario adventure game, or perhaps a new Paper Mario without
turn-based battles, or even a whole new
Mario game with heavy adventure elements would've been much better.
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is essentially the first Paper Mario with a new paint job.
This has to be the single worst description of a given game sequel I have ever heard in my entire life.
trading card battles
Since I mentioned MMBN, I may as well point out that I'd like a Paper Mario game that did something like this. If they combined Paper Mario 2's basic battle system with the deck-building and hand-dealing from MMBN, that'd be pretty neat.